WoW: The cows not coming in from pasture, sorry

Ah WoW expansion rumors, is there anything more fun than to watch people nerdrage over clearly faked leaks, both from those praying it happens and those in the “slap in the face” community? The idiot pool gets quite large when you have 5 million players though, statistically speaking.

The basics of the leak are well grounded in Blizzard history. I mean if true, this expansion would be a copy/paste job of 2004 WoW, and coming from the copy/paste masters, it seems reasonable. The idea breaks down a little when you think about just how much work this would take, and since WoW has been out to pasture for a while now, it’s rather unlikely the cash cow is going to get brought back inside for a total makeover. Plus why take the risk of the C-team devs screwing up what currently works and shorten the lifespan of WoW, especially when the Next MMO is already under development? This is not a game that needs to reinvent itself, but one that just needs to add a daily or two every 6 months (plus 100 new mounts, apparently…), and reset the grinds every two years.

Not as much fun to fake those notes thought, just far more likely (unless some new MMO has a must-have feature, at which point WoW fans can look forward to that being ‘borrowed’. Mythic should be really pissed PQs are not in WoW yet, unless it’s due to technical reasons. Nothing say “MMO design slap in the face” like Blizzard not stealing your best ideas.)

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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31 Responses to WoW: The cows not coming in from pasture, sorry

  1. Chris says:

    Clearly trollbait but entertaining nonetheless. :-)

  2. pitrelli says:

    /grabs popcorn

    Im gonna sit this one out since Im going through a WoW hating faze.

    The latest patch sums up exactly the direction which WoW seems to be heading…. Easy mode. Soon WoW will be nothing more than a social chatroom with the only challenge being if you can stomach the grind.

  3. coppertopper says:

    Heheh – but how sweet would it be if all the rumors were true?

    • syncaine says:

      Honestly, not that sweet. Between the graphics engine being horribly dated and the changes to the lore being so drastic the spacegoats are starting to make sense, 2004 WoW and 2009 WoW are not that close even in vanilla content.

      Plus lets be real, Blizzard caved with Lake Wintergrasp and called 100+ players ‘impossible’ for an MMO, do you really think that same team is somehow going to revisit all of old Azeroth and actually improve it?

  4. Sean says:

    /starts microwave
    “The latest patch sums up exactly the direction which WoW seems to be heading…. Easy mode. Soon WoW will be nothing more than a social chatroom with the only challenge being if you can stomach the grind.”

    Yeah so you were waltzing through pre-nerf Firefighter eh? Perhaps the clutch hunter for phase 3, 0-watcher Yogg? You know a member of one of the guilds who spent weeks or even months on seemingly impossible encounters until they finally managed to execute on winning strategies. If by easy you mean accessible, sure and I applaud Blizzard for it. Yet even though I’ll never see the hardest content in WoW, I still appreciate that it exists for the more hardcore raiders to beat their head against.

    • pitrelli says:

      ‘accessible’ ah so thats the new word for it? Look Im all for letting players taste content but call me old fashioned, when Im wearing epics I like to feel like I’ve earned them. Back in WoW of ol’ now those were the days – when purple items meant you had to work for them. Purple items now are just far too easy and common to get. Standing in Dalaran as your 5 of your ‘twins’ run past wearing the exact same gear etc is just crap.

      Im not saying WoW is a bad game, its just too easy and caters for the cry babies who want things handed on a plate

      • Sean says:

        My snarky point was that you wouldn’t have that “twin” problem if you were “hardcore.” The gear that drops from the hardest encounters isn’t being doled out from vendors like candy. So yes everyone might have an accessible path to X level of gear but there will always be gear beyond the reach of all but the most committed and skilled of players.

      • syncaine says:

        The difference is this though Sean. In vanilla the ‘hard’ content was AQ40/Nax, entire dungeons full of new bosses and artwork, with entire sets of gear for those who progressed. The ‘hard’ content now is one or two repeat encounters that players must now play with one hand tied behind their back to get credit.

      • Sean says:

        Their old raiding philosophy is a vestige of the EQ days and I am glad to see it die if it means that something more than 1% of the player base gets to see all of the time and effort put into such encounters.

        Also the hard content now is a bit more realized than “one or two repeat encounters that players must now play with one hand tied behind their back to get credit.” I’d like to see Blizzard spend more time coming up with interesting mechanics for the fights but many of the Ulduar hard modes (Flame Leviathan plus 4 towers, Freya + 3 elders, Mimiron’s Firefighter, Yogg with less watchers, Algalon…) do introduce novel mechanics instead of asking players to gimp themselves to make fights harder. Additionally the latest raid is experimenting with a new system of having a dedicated hard mode for the entire raid encounter and a reward system that rewards skilled guilds who can complete it with a minimal number of wipes.

        Overall I think it is an acceptable compromise. Comments to the effect of “we had to world buff for Patchwerk in my day noobs” reflect a nostalgia for a time that most people didn’t actually enjoy. The same people that often are screaming about these changes and pine for a time when you had to “work for your gear” weren’t raiding at the top level.

        Personally I enjoy raiding with my casual guild and the current content is challenging enough to keep things interesting for us.

    • pitrelli says:

      Why do i need to be hardcore when I can just wait a month for the next patch and blizzard will give me them on a plate?

    • Anne says:

      Isn’t the whole hardmode system based on removing X, Y and Z from player instead of actually thinking about the design of the encounter?

      Example, Yoggy -0 was considered impossible by Ensidia and EJ before some Chinese farmers were finally able to crack the code and figure out how to win it perfectly. Extremely ironic that Blizzard tries to merge all classes into one yet in the end you still need Chinese ‘die at PC’-nerds (if you get my reference) with a perfect combination of a raid made up of mostly Rogue DPS all spamming KoF.

      And you completely fail at MMORPGs if you actually think giving raiders hard-modes will actually make it a magic cure. Last time I checked stuff like vanilla WoW was about journeys, whether for that legendary weapon or to get into that instance, journeys which required hard work from friends that brought people together.

      This is the same for every boss fight, MC wasn’t hardcore solely because you needed everything perfect. You had to play hours and hours whether in instances with others or going as a guild to collect mats for fire resist gear.

      The philosophy now is ‘lets skip b, c, d, e, f and go straight from a to z’. Whether it is the completely linear instances with no depth, removing any obstacles for ALL players to do every instance and every boss or just having Shamans just throw all their totems all down at once to remove ANY complexity to their system.

      Again, complete failure at understanding what makes MMORPGs are and what makes them ‘hardcore’ is the problem here.

  5. smakendahed says:

    Only thing I want them to steal from WAR would be the banners. Those are neat.

    I also want to see someone finally introduce a ‘guildbound’ mechanic. They’ve taken a step with the ‘bind to account’ mechanic (though how do you send something across to another server or faction on the same server?).

  6. Bonedead says:

    I hit level 70 last night. Hope I reach 80 before there are more. Call me retarded but I’m enjoying myself. I could understand hating it if all of my progress kept getting wiped clean, but shit, leveling is not that bad. I know better than to raid when I reach 80 thanks to teh saab stories.

    • pitrelli says:

      thats a good choice imo, i loved the leveling experience I just wished it took a bit longer.

      • syncaine says:

        The leveling part of WoW is by far its best feature (which is amusing that each patch makes it shorter and shorter), and if WoW just went all out on that aspect it would be a better game IMO. The problem with that is leveling content takes a lot more time/money to create than recycling Nax and Ony, and since they already have 5 million people paying $15 a month to repeat the same daily quests each day, why do more?

      • Sean says:

        @syncaine
        As far as I can tell, the actual time to level cap hasn’t changed for someone first starting the game. The time to level 1-60 or 60-70 has decreased in order that the total time to cap doesn’t get longer with every expansion. They’ve also added options to decrease that time for level 80 players – heirlooms and the like – but most of these are irrelevant for someone who is new to the game. You can choose to level alts through the game at super speed if you want but no one is forcing you.

    • pitrelli says:

      @ Syncaine.

      With WoTLK they could easily have added another 5-10 levels on there, they had enough content/quests to do so. I’ve hardly touched some of the zones on 80 paladin.

      I used to go do the quests after I’d capped but its not the same. Ah well

  7. Beau says:

    Would you say that B.C. was your “NGE?”

    If so, does this mean we’ll have to hear the mourning for the next 5 or 6 YEARS? Ugh. Speaking of that, you might wanna’ take up that cause..you and the NGE are PERFECT for each other! :)

    Beau

  8. sid67 says:

    I’ve been saying since well before Wrath was released that Warcraft expansions need to evolve Azeroth and simply not add areas.

    Namely, because 4000 hours grinding over a landscape provides a lot of familiarity with the region. A serious evolution of the “region” that makes it play/feel different (but with the familiarness) would be awesome.

    This can easily be done with Warcraft’s “phase” approach. They are already doing it in Icecrown and other zones quite a bit.

    It’s easy to call it programming laziness, but this type of thing is EXACTLY what Warcraft has lacked in the last two expansions.

  9. sid67 says:

    As far as I can tell, the actual time to level cap hasn’t changed for someone first starting the game

    It’s changed A LOT actually. Time played for my Rogue 1-70 was about 10 days after the 2.32 patch in Burning Crusade. That’s a typical length in vanilla WoW from 1-60. About 6-7 months ago, I leveled up a new mage and even without the benefit of the “refer-a-friend” bonuses, I leveled to 80 in about 8 days played.

    That being said, I don’t believe the “leveling game” is the strength of Warcraft any longer. The accessibility of the end-game content to the masses has dramatically changed how enjoyable the end-game is for the majority of players.

    I’d also say the achievement system (being able to post it in chat and what-not) still gives the hardcore something to brag about.

    That’s not to say that their aren’t problems with the accessibility, (everyone thinks they are l33t, more ninjas, etc) but overall it’s made it a better game.

    • Sean says:

      Part of that might also be increased familiarity with the content and mods like QuestHelper. If you were to compare a new player first leveling through the game versus a seasoned veteran using Jame’s Horde Guide to level as efficiently as possible, the latter would be able to significantly cut the total time.

  10. sid67 says:

    One more thing, LOL… It also bugs me to hear that WoW Raiding is EZ mode now. Naxxaramas is not hard at all, but there are definitely some very challenging fights in Ulduar. Mimiron, even after the nerfs, is still a hard fight for an unskilled player. The same with Yogg and Vezax.

  11. rulez says:

    At release WoW got mocked by players of other MMOs for being easy mode. That nowadays former WoW players mock the current state of the game as easy is hilarious to say the least. Sorry couldn’t resist :P.

    • Xyloxan says:

      Hmm, I don’t remember that. I started playing WoW on the day of US release (November 23rd, 2004) and I don’t recall hearing that WoW was easy. I remember hearing that WoW was awesome. IMHO WoW 2004 was awesome. I don’t recall a single honest review from 2004 saying that WoW was easy.

      • sid67 says:

        Players from EQ said it was easy. And (by comparison) it is easier. You could solo 1-60 which is something you couldn’t do in EQ easily (if at all).

      • Wilhelm2451 says:

        I was in an EQ2 guild at launch that was almost all EQ players. Our guild chat and forums were regularly used to rail on WoW. The more hardcore were even annoyed at EQ2 and longed for the REAL descendant of EQ… Vanguard.

        I think almost everybody in that guild plays WoW now. I know that the guy who was the biggest fan of Vanguard and “the vision” does.

        Fun trumps.

  12. Bhagpuss says:

    As a long-time EQ player who has only just started playing WoW, I was very pleasantly surprised by how slow levelling is in WoW. Maybe it seems fast to people playing their umpteenth alt or following one of those ubiqitous levelling guides, but for a complete newbie just muddling through it takes bloody ages, which is excellent.

    By comparison, EQ in 2004 was certainly MUCH slower. I remember levelling my Shadowknight around then and it took the best part of a week to do one level in the mid-50s, playing 4-5 hours a night and most of the weekend. Level 59, worst of the hell levels, took a couple of weeks to grind through.

    On the other hand, try playing EQ now. I could make a new character on a server I never played on before and be 60th in the time it took me to get to 40 in WoW this first time through. Slows down a bit after that, but with Hot Zones, XP potions and Mercenaries, really not that much.

    As for the levelling game, that’s the only game I play in MMOs, and i agree that WoW has one of the best, and they really should stop trying to hustle people through it.

    • Minn says:

      However many other new players don’t appreciate the content offered in levelling, because their primary objective is to catch up with their friends who are usually at the level cap and probably involved in endgame content. New players in my guild get run through instances/quests by level 80 guildies to speed up the experience gain whenever possible.

      While there will always be people who want to savour the levelling process, the majority of newcomers just want to get onto the same plateau with their friends ASAP and do the same stuff together. They are motivated by friends and impatience instead of content, Blizzard knows it, and will continue shortening the leveling process to cater to their new players. Besides, if you want to enjoy leveling you could “simply reroll”.

  13. Matt says:

    Oh, these comments are priceless. This will be enjoyable.

  14. Wow satisfies all my gaming needs since they are really entertaining.

  15. Tim says:

    WoW has definitely been heading towards making things easier, at least with regards to things like leveling and the like. They’ve also done things like the bind to account, they’re planning on allowing faction changes, and there’s also starting the Death Knights at a very high level. I suppose most of this comes from just giving some of the more vocal players what they want, but I’ve found that once people get what they want, they start getting bored.

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